French History 101 – Bastille Day!

What’s the deal with Bastille day, 14th of July in France … Thought I’d explain for those of you who do not know.

I know this might feel like a history lesson and might make some of you fall asleep or not even want to read today’s blog.

Buuuuuut I promise I’ll make it a quick one, and you’ll feel you’ve learn something

the 14th of July is the celebration of the French national day and the most important bank holiday in France! So obviously I had to tell you about it.

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It is the celebration (when we remember) the turning point in the French revolution.

On July 14, 1789, troops stormed the Bastille. This was a VERY important event at the beginning of the French Revolution.

July 14 1789, a massive crowd of Frenchmen rose up and invaded the prison.

Bastille Day is considered the beginning of the French Revolution. Capturing this prison, a symbol of the Ancient Regime,

It  marked the end of the monarchy (with Louis XVI & Marie-Antoinette – yup like the movie)

Bastille day led France to the three ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

It has been known and celebrated as the creation of the Sovereign Nation and what would be the “First” Republic of France (in 1792).

A few fun facts about Bastille Day:

  • Absolutely NO ONE in France calls it Bastille day, we call it ‘Fete National’ (=national day)

  • The 14th of July (Bastille Day) only freed very few prisoners, the prison was almost empty

  • The mob that stormed the Bastille didn’t just set prisoners free, they also armed themselves with weapons

  • Bastille Day is recognized as the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the French Revolution

  • Bastille Day is the oldest and largest regular military Parade in Western Europe

  • On July 14th the Louvre, offers free entrance

  • Much like July 4th in the states, all over France people celebrate with fireworks, dances, and musical performances

  • At the end of the parade in Paris the French President usually gives a speech

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